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Pre-procedure Information

3401 Civic Center Blvd. • Philadelphia, PA 19104 • 267-425-4689 •

Important Instructions About Eating and Drinking Before Anesthesia or Sedation 

Your child’s safety is our top priority. 

  • Eating or drinking too close to the start of anesthesia could put your child at risk for serious problems during the procedure. 

  • However, drinking during the allowable time period may help your child feel better before and after anesthesia. 

  • Please encourage your child to drink before the procedure and follow these guidelines. 

No food, candy or gum is permitted after 11 p.m. the evening before the procedure. ONLY the following drinks are permitted until the specified times:

Clear liquids

  • Any age child may have ONLY water, Pedialyte®, clear apple juice, clear white grape juice, or sports drinks (such as Gatorade™ or Powerade™ except protein shakes) up until your arrival time (unless specifically instructed not to drink due to a medical condition).

Breast milk

  • Up to 2 hours before your arrival time.

Infant formula

  • Younger than 6 months: up to 3 hours before your arrival time 

  • 6 to 12 months old: up to 5 hours before your arrival time 

  • Older than 12 months: until 11 p.m. the night before the procedure 

  • DO NOT add cereal to formula. DO NOT use formula that has cereal already added.

For your child’s safety, if these instructions are not followed, your child’s procedure will be delayed or cancelled. Closely supervise your child during this time as many children may “sneak” food. Check your car and car seats for food that may be within reach. Do not send your child to school or day care on the day of the procedure. 


Important Information About Medications and Supplements


  • Bring all of your child’s medications, in the original containers, with you on the day of the procedure.

  • Follow the instructions you were given regarding which medications your child should and should not take on the day of the procedure.

Medications for pain or fever

  • For 2 weeks before the procedure: Your child may not have aspirin, unless approved by your child’s physician. If your child has been prescribed daily aspirin, please discuss with the prescribing healthcare provider. 

  • For 3 days before the procedure: Your child may not have ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®), naproxen (Aleve® or Naprosyn®) or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), unless approved by your healthcare provider.

  • Your child may have acetaminophen (Tylenol) until 11:00PM the night before surgery.

Nutritional and other supplements

  • For 2 weeks before the procedure: Your child may not have any herbal medications, herbal supplements or other nutritional supplements unless approved by your healthcare provider.

  • If your child has any of these products during the 2 weeks before the procedure, the procedure will be cancelled.

To Find Out Your Arrival Time: 

  • Call 267-425-4699 the afternoon before the procedure between 4:15 and 6 p.m.

  • If you have signed up for text messaging, you may receive a text message with your arrival time. This takes the place of the phone call.

  • If the procedure is scheduled for a Monday, please call on the Friday before the day of the procedure.

  • If the procedure is scheduled for a day after a holiday, please call on the last business day before the day of the procedure. 

Add-on Procedure: If your child needs to have an emergency procedure but does not need to be admitted before the procedure, a member of the PACU staff will call you with your arrival time. We will call the phone numbers you gave us at registration. Please be sure they are correct. If you have not been called by noon, call 267-425-4700 for an update.

Other Important Information

 The night before the procedure 

  • Bathe your child with soap and water. If your child's procedure is for the head or neck area, you may be instructed to wash their hair with shampoo.

  • Do not use any lotions, creams, or powder after the bath. Use clean pajamas and linen after bathing.

  • If you were instructed to give your child a CHG treatment, please remember to follow those instructions carefully.

The day of the procedure

  • Add 15 – 30 minutes to your usual travel time to allow for traffic delays and parking.

  • Surgery is located on the fourth floor of the Main Hospital. When you arrive on CHOP’s campus, please look for signs for Main Hospital Parking/Parking A. You will receive a parking ticket when you enter Main Hospital/Parking A. Please be sure to bring this ticket with you. We can validate it so you will receive a discounted parking rate. Take the Glass Elevators from the garage to the first floor of the Main Hospital. When you arrive on the first floor, head to the right to check in at the Welcome Desk. You will be directed to an elevator that will take you to the fourth floor. When you arrive on the fourth floor, follow signs to Surgery Check-In M450. Enter Surgery Check-In and stop at the desk.

  • Please make arrangements for the care of your other children. Only 2 adults may be with your child in the patient room.

  • Bring an empty bottle or sippy cup, and a special toy or clean blanket for your child.

  • Please remove your child’s nail polish, fake nails, jewelry (including any jewelry in piercings) and makeup.

  • Place long hair in pigtails. For any procedure lasting longer than 2 hours, remove any braids or beads in your child’s hair. Hair fasteners must be metal-free.

  • If your child wears contact lenses, bring a lens storage case and eyeglasses with you.

  • No food or drink is allowed in Surgery Check-In.

  • Your arrival time allows at least 2 to 3 hours for us to make sure your child is ready and safe for the procedure. Your child will be seen by several members of the team before surgery. 

Additional Instructions

  • Call 267-425-4689 if your child becomes ill before the day of the procedure.

  • Call 267-425-4700 if: 

    • Your child becomes ill on the day of the procedure 

    • Your child has any food or drink (except clear liquids) after 11 p.m. the night before the procedure 

    • You experience any delay on the day of the procedure that may prevent you from arriving at surgery check-in on time 

Directions to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: 

  • The GPS address is: 3401 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19104 

  • Go to

Talking to your child about the procedure 

Visit our website for helpful information about preparing your child for their procedure:

Reviewed January 2024 by Leslie Obermeier, PPCNP-BC, NEA-BC

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